MADISON, S.D. – Despite overcoming adversity throughout the second half and forcing double overtime, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team was helpless as they witnessed the football sail through the uprights as Dakota State University came away victorious, 33-30 Thursday night at Trojan Field in Madison, S.D.
Both teams played it close to the vest in the opening possessions as DWU ran the ball every play and DSU attempted just one pass. However, on the second Tiger (0-1) possession, Luke Loudenburg (Canova, S.D.) scampered for 59 yards, which set up for a first and goal from the DSU one-yard line. One play later, Loudenburg plowed through the goal line as he gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Both teams were forced to punt on their next possessions. But the Tigers forced the first turnover of the game as Brandon Slama (Chaska, Minn.) intercepted the Trojan (1-0) pass.
Neither team could score again in the opening quarter as DWU held. A 7-0 advantage after one frame of action. DSU did not take long to tie the game in the second quarter as Torren Devericks found Josh Giles for the touchdown pass less than three minutes into the stanza.
Midway through the second quarter, it was all Loudenburg again as he rushed for 23 yards and the touchdown to return the lead to DWU at 13-7. On the next Tiger possession, Tate Gale (Irene, S.D.) nailed a 25-yard field goal to push the lead to nine points.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Devericks rushed for a one-yard touchdown run for the Trojan touchdown and made it a 16-14 game heading to halftime with the Tigers on top.
Coming out of the locker rooms, Brodie Fredericksen broke free for a long touchdown run to give the Trojans their first lead of the game, 20-16.
Neither team could find their rhythm midway through the third quarter without any scoring. But, with DSU punting inside its' own 10-yard line, Preston Emerson (Lakeville, Minn.) blocked the punt as Slama recovered the ball in the end zone to give the Tigers a 23-20 lead.
Less than a minute into the final quarter, the Trojans tied the game with a 30-yard field goal attempt. DSU regained the lead following a 10-play drive that was capped off by a Fredericksen rush on fourth and goal.
However, with less than seven minutes to play, the Tigers went straight to work on their ensuing drive. Kiel Nelson (Mitchell, S.D.) led DWU on a 10-play, 75-yard drive that was finished off with a Spencer Neugebauer (Mitchell, S.D.) diving touchdown catch to tie the game with 3:26 left to play.
The Trojans had a drive to win the game, but a final heave to the end zone as time expired was broken up by Slama and Adam DeJong (Watertown, S.D.) to force overtime.
In the first overtime, Cody Reichelt (Mitchell, S.D.) broke through the offensive line and sacked the quarterback for an eight-yard loss, and a turnover on downs. However, the Tigers could not capitalize as the Gale 44-yard field goal was missed wide left.
In the second overtime, DWU obtained possession of the ball first. Two plays into the overtime, Nelson found Daniel Libolt (Chamber, Neb.) on a 14-yard connection that set the Tigers up with a first and goal.
Two plays later, with two yards to go, the ball was handed off to Loudenburg who seemed to cross the goal line but was called just shy of the end zone. DSU held the Tigers out of the end zone as DWU came up empty handed in the second overtime.
Moments later, the Trojans walked off the field victorious following a 21-yard field goal attempt.
Loudenburg led the Tigers with 163 yards rushing on 30 attempts and two touchdowns, while Nelson went 15-of-28 for 143 yards passing, 50 yards rushing and a touchdown. Libolt led the receivers with eight catches for 68 yards and four punt returns for 90 yards. Dominick Warmbein (Sioux Falls, S.D.) led the defense with 10 total tackles, as Reichelt notched eight tackles and a sack.
DWU comes home to host Presentation College for non-conference action at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell.